Inspirational and (Actually) Helpful Resources for Starting a Instagram/Blog

Want to grow your Instagram or blog but don’t know what else to do? Here are some (mostly) free resources to help you get up and get inspired!

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Since I have started an Instagram account for makeup and beauty, I have looked into a few ways I can make some money form it sometime in the future. (Also because I have a cruddy job that I am looking to get out of, and I kind of have an entrepreneurial spirit. but mostly don’t want to work for a corporate business!) I feel like this are of Pinterest, Instagram, and blogging, is a center for clickbait and supposedly free tips which then turn into a slew of emails begging you to buy into their online course FOR ONLY 297$ Today only!!

Yeah not really for me when thats one whole paycheck for me…

I literally feel lied to when I click on a “free masterclass” and then get bombarded with emails. I know, not that smart because I even know what they’re doing but I put my email in anyway!

ANYWAY…

Here I have compiled a list of blogs, youtube videos, and podcasts that are mostly COMPLETELY FREE! No, I do not collaborate with these people, I just have been clicking and reading around and have found some great sites that I think you might enjoy as well! I will list some that are 100% free and let you know which ones to watch out for with hidden email marketing down the road… So lets get to the list!

Mostly COMPLETELY FREE Blog to Business Resources!

  • Podcast by Amy Porterfield “Online Marketing Made Easy With Amy Porterfield” Available on Podcast app on iPhone.
  • She also has a website with a lot of cool free stuff for you to download! Podcast linked on website as well. WARNING: She does sell webinars and courses so be cautious but they are high quality because she is super successful! It might be worth checking out.
  • Whatever Is Lovely blog. I found this one from Pinterest while at work (hehehe 🙂 smug) and she has some great insights about how to get started! Here is the start of a great post series that expands on how to get started. Its all free!
  • Elise Darma has great blog posts on her site and her free masterclass has a lot of great Instagram insights! But I put my email in and have gotten a blast of “buy me”, so theres that. elisedarma.com
  • Miranda Gardley on Youtube has a series about working on Instagram that I thought was helpful. heres the link to the first part of the series.
  • The Preview App’s website has some great articles about organizing your Instagram and how to grow a following. Heres a very helpful link for finding an attractive layout for your page from them. And some more articles… Instagram Shadowban and 2018 Instagram Hashtags Rules
  • List of affiliate programs from HerPaperRoute

These are a small but growing list of places I’ve looked at and read and have found helpful insights! Please check out these resources for help growing your blog and Instagram!

Also, please drop any links to resources you have found helpful and a little blurb about the resource and how its helped you! I would love to branch out and find more resources and be able to provide them for you and readers as well!

Happy Blogging everyone!

Deconstruct a Sponsored Post on Social Media

Paid ads are everywhere on social media now. Today I wanted to go over some important points that make up a great sponsored post/paid ad on social media. Facebook and Instagram are two very popular platforms where advertisements are gaining popularity and effective exposure. Here is an ad I found on my Facebook page that has an eye catching design.Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 3.52.13 PM

So I really liked this ad because right off the bat it is offering a free article that is of value to just about any woman who is not a millionaire. Everyone wants to save money and many people buy on Amazon. Its shows that you can buy inexpensive and helpful things on Amazon that Bustle has congregated into one post for you. It has a link to click on, it has a “Learn more” button, a “Like page” button, and is very simple in its design. You don’t really know what she is holding but it looks like one of those “clever” things that you can find on Amazon…Better check it out!

Some weaknesses of this ad are that the photo in unclear. Like you don’t know what its a photo of so it may just turn you off on clicking on it since you don’t know what you’re supposed to be interested in. The description of the article doesn’t really add up with the article title either. Shouldn’t it be about Amazon and whats cool to buy on there? And, again, the photo is not very interesting or edited. The only thing I can look at is the tree design on the air freshener (I think thats what it is). But other than that I don’t see too many bad things about this simple ad.

I think the most important part of this ad is the eye catching tree design and the title of the article. I see the title as one that will give you value when you click on it. That is important that you show your ad as not “gimmicky” and one that will help your follower out in life and leave them feeling like they gained something by following your account/page.

 

What is important for you too see in an ad as a viewer? As a business?

What are some things that make you want to click on an ad or NOT click on one? Let me know in the comments below!

Deconstruct a Video

Today I wanted to “deconstruct” a video to show how there is so much thought put into social media and online video content. The video I will be talking about is on this page by Womens Health. It is an article about the benefits of taking BCAA’s as a supplement while training. The video is halfway down the page and talks about how to read nutrition labels on the foods that we buy.

Strengths and Design: The first thing I noticed was that the video definitely uses the rule of thirds in the layout of the video. The text in each shot takes up about two thirds of the frame, either horizontal or vertical, and the visuals takes up the last one third. Another strength in the video is that there is a lot free flowing white space. There are not blocked corners and the background seems to flow nicely without being choppy. The color scheme is very integrated and simple as well which adds to its appeal. The video is very informative and supplements what the reader is already looking at in the article.

BCAA Article Video CompanionScreen Shot 2018-03-05 at 10.27.14 PM

Weaknesses: One thing I noticed that is a little odd is that the video is about food and health but the colors in the video are not complimentary to that. Blue is not a great color to incorporate into food related subjects because its not an appetizing color. From our human instincts, if you were to come across something edible that is blue, it most likely has gone bad, like meat or mold. I think the video could have had more red, green, and yellow in it so that it seemed to be more food related when first looking at it. McDonalds does this, everything is red and yellow, reminding us of warm yummy food. I do understand that the video is about food labels so its not QUITE about food but its close enough. Appetizing colors could pop up when giving an example of healthy foods and labels that go along with them.

The video is trying to show off quick information about reading nutrition labels so that you can benefit for your health. I think the clean design and the uniform color scheme adds to this idea of being neat and clean about your health. The main thing that will show that this video is successful is how many views there are on the article and how many times it has been shared on social media. Since it is an in house video and not published on Youtube or social media its kind of hard to determine that.

Overall I thought this was a really cute video and one I enjoyed watching through to the end. I think its a great example of a native video for a health and fitness website, it holds some great ideas.

Deconstruct an Article Promotion

Today I wanted to talk about article promotion and show you a great example I have seen on Instagram. Article promotions are like the only links I will click on these days! I don’t mind reading articles about things I am interested in, but as soon as it hits to an advertisement or learn more tab, I am OUT!

So the great example of article promotion I wanted to share is by a company called “HudaBeauty” run by beauty pro Huda Kattan. She is the face of her brand and is recognized by makeup lovers all over the world. And I mean all over the world for a reason because she promotes her makeup tips and tricks as well as products in English and Arabic, so she has a pretty far reach in the market. I love watching her Youtube videos and seeing her articles promotion posts on Snapchat, she does a wonderful job in directing traffic to her website. She gives off a genuine feel in all that she posts. She also promotes her makeup tricks through her Instagram. Most of her posts are showing off other peoples work with her products but occasionally she will post her video of a tutorial or a makeup swatch or how a new product works. She then will put the link to that expanded post for her website in her biography link in her Insta profile. This is just the nature of Instagram that live links can only be put in the profile section, not the actual post itself. So here is here latest post about How To Clean False Lashes

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As you can see, she posted the How To video and the link is inherently bio. When you click the link it follows to her website where the original post is. Heres the link if you want to check it out followed by the site screenshots. HudaBeauty

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 12.55.47 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-21 at 12.56.14 PM

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So I think she did a great job with promoting her Instagram and website. The Instagram video is in her site article and the Instagram page links to her article. I would say her social media channels are all interwoven and that is really important. That is definitely a strength in how HudaBeauty shares their posts. Her image is consistent across the two sites. She keeps her color scheme of black white and pink with Huda Kattan being the main person. Some weaknesses I see are that the posts is pretty short on the website. I think there is more info about how to clean the lashes in the video than the actual article so its almost redundant to have a whole other article about it on the website. I think the fact that her article is short could be a strength and a weakness. I know I like her other articles because they are short and to the point and not painfully long or repetitive, thats why I like reading them. In this case though, the video has more info than the actual article. When posting a video in an article I think the article should expand on what is shown or talked about in the video so that they are complimentary. I also like that on her site there are relevant related articles suggested on the sidebar and at the end. There are no ads for random clickbait sites and I really appreciate that. I also don’t know if this is a strength or weakness but I think it is strange that the title of the article is different on the site than what the title of the video is on Instagram? Like shouldn’t they be the same? What are your thoughts on that?

Thanks for reading and hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration for your next round of article promotion posting! Thoughts and comments are welcome below!

Deconstruct a Brand

Bath and Body Works is a great brand! It’s the spot you want to avoid walking by at the mall with your wife because this store just draws all women into it.

So to talk about the brand…

Some of the brands strengths are that their logo and design is instantly recognizable. They have a blue plaid print bag that all purchases go home in with pink text of the company’s name. This is shown in their Facebook profile picture. The pink text keeps it fun and girly and like its a special purchase. The plaid is recognizable, I think it gives it a “country” down to earth feel also that older women can identify with as well as young girls too. The blue plaid is a refreshing color, a universally liked color, and reaches across ages.

Bath and Body Works is also very consistent across their social media channels. Facebook and Instagram are the most impressive. Their photography is similar if not the same photos ( this could be a strength or weakness, depending on how you look at it ) and they keep their fun and special feeling in both social media platforms

Bath and Body Works Instagram postBath and Body Works Instagram FeedBath and Body Works Facebook Post

 

Some of the brand weaknesses are that their content is not too varied across their social media accounts. I think that their pink square with text is a little outdated, the text is kind of old. It could be updated to be more modern.

I think the composition of most of their posts on social media have great composition and grid use. The two posts above from FB and Insta have an organized layout, their colors are great on the eyes and unified. It looks like the perfumes are lain out in a diamond array on a grid, so that is great. I think there could be more contrast in their photos, the colors are starting to blend together a bit. There is an obvious color scheme in their recent photo series, pastels and jewel tones in girly colors like blue and pink and purple.

Anyway, i think Bath and Body does a great job unifying their social media and their posts. I think their logo could be updated, as they are updating the design of many of their fragrances and lotions and the years go on. I think they could have more variety in their posts across their channels and still keep them unified. But they do an amazing job showcasing their product and creating an inviting and fun aura around what they sell.

Deconstruct an Advertisement

Lets talk about why Halo Top Creamery icecream has become so wildly popular, so quickly! I want to show this photo of an Instagram post by Halo Top. Its a bit older, but its a good one. Here are a few points I wanted to go over about this ad.

  1. What is the main purpose of the ad?

The main purpose of this ad is to show off one of the many flavors from the company AND to show how few calories are in it. It shows a fun vibrant flavor…HOW COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE 240 CALORIES IN IT? Yes its that amazing. Thats the main point of this ad.

  1. What are the ad’s strengths?

It is very bright and eye catching. Unicorns are also very trendy and popular at the moment, so that attracts likes and attention. It showcases the brands top feature- its Low Calorie feature, too.

  1. What are the ad’s weaknesses?

It is not very informative. They only have text for one line of the post. Many people do not read long text posts on Instagram, but it still does not convey much information, just a clever little line about unicorns.

  1. What is the ad trying to accomplish with its design?

It is trying to draw the eye to the calorie count. It is trying to show that you can have fun while eating ice cream and not counting calories. It is showing that Halo Top is a carefree treat.

  1. What metrics (likes, shares, re-tweets, etc.) will be used to determine if the ad is successful?

This ad will be popular if it gets a lot of like. that is seen just under the photo with a count of how many people like it. It will also show if some of your friends or people you follow, like it too so it creates a community feel as well.

Halo Top is so great at advertising and I just wanted to highlight some of their tactics. They are a great brand to follow and observe.

Herbal Essences Is Making “Naturally Derived” The New Thing

Herbal Essences is taking the convenience store hair care world by surprise! (So basically the average woman buying shampoo) BioRenew hair care is the newest release from the company and their ad presence is everywhere, from Facebook video modules to Twitter to Instagram.They are really showing the world that it is possible to have hair products that are natural and actually work.

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Their advertising campaign is beautifully done as well. Some of the objectives of the campaign is to reach the Millennial age. This is seen in their graphics, very mermaid-like and magical and earthy in design. This is for the younger demographic of women, not too common with older or middle aged women. Many of the posts that they share online feature millennial age women who have used the new BioRenew line and love it.

Another objective of the advertising campaign is to show that the product is “green”. Some of the labels touted on the products are “90% Naturally Derived” and “Natural Ingredients” while showing lots of fruits and greenery to go along with products and posts.

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The two main principles that Herbal Essences is using in their advertising for BioRenew are the presentation principle and the value principle. For the presentation principle, the company is presenting the new product as a fun, natural, effective way to take care of your hair. If you buy the product then you will have the hair that they show to you in ads. You can buy into the fun and adventure that they portray. If you are intrigued by the way they present their product, then its for you. If you care about how you look and you want to show others that you are flirty, adventurous, beautiful, and care about the earth, then use this product.

For the value principle, I think the company has created value in their posts. They post “hair-iscopes” for your hairs horoscope, they feature other popular users of the product, beautiful photography featuring the products, and other content that brings users in rather than just posting a picture saying BUY THIS SHAMPOO! They do have a great following on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, along with a  beautiful website. They are very well connected and bring useful content to all sites for all their viewers and buyers.

Some of the weaknesses of the brand though, are that they do not market to older women (over 30, over millennial age). I think women who are older than the millennial generation have more money to spend on hair care products and care about their hair more than younger people. I also think the appeal of natural ingredients to nourish the hair is appealing to all ages, not just younger women. Their posts sometimes feel a little to “young” like its for high school and middle school girls, yet the packaging is more refined and I see it as a product for a young adult, so there is some disconnect there, in my opinion. Herbal Essences also does not have many, if any, men’s products, and they could possibly adapt the BioRenew line for men as well.

I love this product and its seriously changed my hair and its strength! I especially love the conditioner! If you want to check it out, here’s a link to my favorite shampoo and conditioner set on Amazon! http://amzn.to/2DdBFPA